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SonySonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens
 
4.9

(based on 159 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (140)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (18)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

99%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Nice bokeh (103)
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (94)
  • Strong construction (89)
  • Consistent output (82)
  • Lightweight (80)

Cons

  • Heavy (5)
  • Pricey / poor value (5)

Best Uses

  • Low light (94)
  • Landscape/scenery (62)
  • Night photography (61)
  • Weddings (61)
  • Video (18)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (51), Semi-pro photographer (44), Pro photographer (27), Casual photographer (7)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (125)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Sharp, Fast and BIG and EXPENSIVE Lens

Of all the lenses I have looked at for my Sony A7 so far, the Sony 55mm and 35mm prime lenses have provided the sharpest images. Despite what you might read about the overall...Read complete review

Of all the lenses I have looked at for my Sony A7 so far, the Sony 55mm and 35mm prime lenses have provided the sharpest images. Despite what you might read about the overall quality of these lenses, make no doubt about it, coupled with the auto focus on the Sony A7 cameras, these lenses make extremely sharp images with nice contrast and acceptably attractive bokeh.When Sony introduced the A7 and A7r I knew I had to have one. But which one and, what lenses? With only three OEM lenses available at launch, my need for a longer lens led me into a search of all options. I've tested a lot of lenses.The first lens I bought for the camera was the Sony 35mm prime. I returned it and bought some Voigtlander M lenses and an M adapter, which I love on the Sony, but I couldn't help but notice that the detail in the images produced with the Sony 35mm lens were incredibly sharp. I had made a hand held shot of my dog and individual hairs were readily visible and sharp.I bought the Metabones adapter and tried my Canon lenses, but the focus was slow and the form vs. function factor on those HUGE lenses didn't work for me. The Canon lenses are BIG and the Sony A7 is small. I felt like I was lugging around an elephant in my Ferrari. So I returned the adapter, an easy process thanks to B&H return policy.Now I have my Voitlander lenses and manual focus. They produce very fine images, but I was missing the totally automatic side of this fine camera, so I bought the 55mm Sony lens and have found it to be very sharp and a joy to use when I want fully automated shooting.The Sony 55mm is very fast and SHARP with nice bokeh and I give it HIGH MARKS for that. When coupled with the high ISO capability of the A7 it does very well in available light situations even after the sun has gone down.Manual focus of the lens is very nice with the image magnification of the EVF. It is acceptably fast for the street and landscape work that I do.What I don't like about the lens is the lack of separate aperture control ring. It is a very sleek lens and makes use of control dials on the camera body to set aperture and shutter speed. It is a little different paradigm, not bad, but different than the Voitlander primes, which I love to use.This is a fairly large lens, especially compared to the 35mm prime that Sony offers. It doesn't overpower the camera in terms of form like my Canon lenses did, but compared to the diminutive 35mm and my Voitlander lenses, it is on the large side.One other nice thing about this lens is that coupled with the Sony A7, you have a setup that will stand up to the elements. I haven't poured water on mine yet to test, but I've seen it done on videos on YouTube. That's some nice comfort when you have to brave the elements to get the shot you want.The only down side is the cost of the lens. IT IS EXPENSIVE. Lets face it, for a standard focal length lens with not so much glass, $[$] is a lot to fork over. It makes me wonder if I will be willing to fork over what Sony might want for future lenses for this camera.Overall this is a very nice lens, but I can only give it 4 stars because it is BIG and EXPENSIVE.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Excellent optically, but mechanically flawed

I have been using this lens for over 2 years and it has been my favorite and best,'go to'mirrorless lens on FF (Sony A7R and A7R-II)and APS-C (A6000). With the...Read complete review

I have been using this lens for over 2 years and it has been my favorite and best,'go to'mirrorless lens on FF (Sony A7R and A7R-II)and APS-C (A6000). With the latter, it's a very good ~85mm equivalent tele. Very sharp at all apertures with just some vignetting wide-open.

So why only 2 stars and me about to sell it? While its optically excellent, it is mechanically flawed. A well-known photo equipment rental company has had to repair many of these lenses due to a STUPID engineering design. A crucial part of the focusing motor, used for both AF and manual focusing, is only secured by a glob of glue!! When this coil releases from the glue, the lens cannot focus. From online discussions, it seems that Sony out-sourced repair centers will deem this defect 'unrepairable' (the rental company disassembles their lenses and reapply another glob of glue). The result for the rest of us is a very expensive paperweight. I am selling mine before it breaks and buying the cheaper (1/4 X) Sony FE 50mm f/1.8 lens usng an older DC motor.

Reviewed by 159 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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5.0

Sharp lens

By 14ers

from Aurora, CO

Comments about Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens:

Loving this lens for portraits on my a6300. One of my favorite lenses ever in fact.

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(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

You will not regret buying this!

By Alhatlani. A

from Jubail, SA

Verified Reviewer

Comments about Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens:

I didn't buy this lens from B&H since I'm not in the USA. I have been in confusion, a 50 ish mm lens with 1.8 aperture for just under $1000, the previous price, then I was like " WHAAAAT???". I kind of had to buy it since the EF lenses line wasn't that much. This is one of the best lenses I've ever had.

I mainly shoot videos with a7s ii, and AF in the video this lens provides is something cool, smooth and silent.
I attached a video that 95% of it was shot with the 55mm. You'd see some scenes with the cool AF.

If you are looking for a very Sharp, AF 50mm with featuring the Zeiss 3D look, this is your choice.

I'm doing this review so you don't waste more time in confusion like I did.

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5.0

Incredibly sharp

By Drdtmd

from Nj

Comments about Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens:

I bought this lens and a a7r2 and all I can say is wow. Sharp, fast, and beautiful. Autofocus is also very fast and accurate. Eye af and this lens has produced some incredible portraits. Very happy with this combo it's a keeper.

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5.0

Crazy sharp!

By Fernand

from Jubail, Saudi Arabia

Comments about Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens:

I've had the vivitar 28-90 f2.8 manual lens with my A7 for 6 months. I thought that lens was ok for my hobby needs. But when I got my 55mm, I was blown away with how sharp f1.8 was. Stop down to f4 to f8 and it will produce killer sharp images.

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(0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great FE Lens

By PeteC

from Powder Springs, Ga

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Consistent Output
  • Easily Interchangeable
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
  • Lightweight
  • Nice Bokeh
  • Strong Construction

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Indoors/Low Light
    • Landscape/Scenery
    • Night Photography

    Comments about Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens:

    One of the sharpest native E-Mount lenses

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    4.0

    overall good lense

    By t

    from sacramento, ca

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Durable
    • Fast / accurate auto-focus
    • Lightweight
    • Nice Bokeh
    • Strong Construction

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Indoors/Low Light
      • Video
      • Weddings/Events

      Comments about Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens:

      Very sharp and fast lens. Works great with my a7rii. My only complaint is the flaring. It seems to flare way more than my canon lenses. Not only that but the flaring doesn't look as good as the flaring on the canon lense either

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Love this Lens

      By seakayaker

      from South Windsor CT

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Consistent Output
      • Nice Bokeh

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens:

          I wanted a lens to use on my A7 for photographing the arrival of our first grand child . I've never been happy with my people photos and avoided those opportunities constantly. I realized I wanted to confront my fears and start practicing portraits quick! Although this lens is not a typical portrait length I noticed a lot of the Sony Artisans do indeed use it for portraits . I am happy to say I was so pleased with my initial attempts at portraits while out practicing just a few times with this lens. I couldn't believe they were my pictures. This lens was purchased used from B&H , it was a 9+ , but looked as good as new . I love this company , the are always laid back calm and super helpful . I have since purchased the FE 16-35 F4 and am really please with the quality of this used lens as well . It is also giving me stunning results .. but that is a different review for later.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          5.0

          Very nice normal lens

          By The Wizard

          from Seattle

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Lightweight
          • Nice Bokeh
          • Strong Construction

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Indoors/Low Light
            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Weddings/Events

            Comments about Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens:

            The 55mm f/1.8 makes a great combo with the A7r II, perfect walk around shooter, discreet, great in low light and tops in IQ.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            5.0

            Very Nice Lens!

            By Steve

            from Big Lake, MN

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Durable
            • Easily Interchangeable
            • Fast / accurate auto-focus
            • Lightweight
            • Nice Bokeh
            • Strong Construction

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Indoors/Low Light
              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Weddings/Events

              Comments about Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens:

              Extremely Sharp, Well build and smooth focus. Glad I finally added it to my collection.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (34 of 60 customers found this review helpful)

               
              2.0

              Excellent optically, but mechanically flawed

              By DrChu

              from San Francisco & Boston

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Excellent Optically
              • Nice Bokeh

              Cons

              • Prone To Af-motor Failure

              Best Uses

              • Indoors/Low Light
              • Landscape/Scenery

              Comments about Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens:

              I have been using this lens for over 2 years and it has been my favorite and best,'go to'mirrorless lens on FF (Sony A7R and A7R-II)and APS-C (A6000). With the latter, it's a very good ~85mm equivalent tele. Very sharp at all apertures with just some vignetting wide-open.

              So why only 2 stars and me about to sell it? While its optically excellent, it is mechanically flawed. A well-known photo equipment rental company has had to repair many of these lenses due to a STUPID engineering design. A crucial part of the focusing motor, used for both AF and manual focusing, is only secured by a glob of glue!! When this coil releases from the glue, the lens cannot focus. From online discussions, it seems that Sony out-sourced repair centers will deem this defect 'unrepairable' (the rental company disassembles their lenses and reapply another glob of glue). The result for the rest of us is a very expensive paperweight. I am selling mine before it breaks and buying the cheaper (1/4 X) Sony FE 50mm f/1.8 lens usng an older DC motor.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this reviewHelp Icon

               
              5.0

              A True Diamond

              By PerryLeros

              from Lakewood, OH

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Consistent Output
              • Fast / accurate auto-focus
              • Lightweight
              • Nice Bokeh
              • Strong Construction

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Indoors/Low Light
                • Night Photography
                • Portraits
                • Weddings/Events

                Comments about Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens:

                Got it as a first lens with my a7RII. This lens is super sharp and can't really find any softness or CA even when pixel peeping the corners.
                I recently got the zeiss 35mm 2.8 and it seemed soft compared to this lens. I thought there was something wrong with the 35 but it's just that this 55 lens is razor sharp. Really satisfied. Focuses fast and accurately too.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Worth Every Penny

                By FoxTop

                from Santa Rosa, Ca

                About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                • Lightweight
                • Nice Bokeh

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens:

                    I use this lens for just about anything and it always produces amazing photos.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    5.0

                    Sharp with lots of contrast!

                    By Dpyancy

                    from Pennsylvania, USA

                    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Consistent Output
                    • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                    • Nice Bokeh
                    • Strong Construction

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Indoors/Low Light
                      • Night Photography
                      • Weddings/Events

                      Comments about Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens:

                      I use this lens for a walk around lens for my A7II.
                      This is my first Zeiss lens and I love the micro contrast and bokeh!

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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                      (0 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      4.0

                      nice

                      By Richieboone

                      from Cranberry Pa

                      About Me Pro Photographer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Rugged

                      Cons

                      • Big

                      Best Uses

                      • Landscape/Scenery

                      Comments about Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens:

                      Kind of big for Sony system like all of they're other lenses.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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                      5.0

                      Worth it!

                      By Perspectives

                      from Denver, CO

                      About Me Photo Enthusiast

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Consistent Output
                      • Durable
                      • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                      • Lightweight
                      • Nice Bokeh
                      • Strong Construction

                      Cons

                      • Size

                      Best Uses

                      • Indoors/Low Light
                      • Landscape/Scenery
                      • Night Photography
                      • Sports/Action
                      • Video
                      • Weddings/Events
                      • Wildlife Photos

                      Comments about Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens:

                      Great lens! A perfect combo with an a7Rii. So dependable, with fast focus, great color and sharpness, and well-balanced on the camera. I don't think of what I have to overcome in order to get a great image with this lens so am able to just shoot and concentrate on the composition, lighting and timing instead. The limited distortion and vignetting are very well corrected with a lens profile in post. Chromatic aberration has only shown up in extreme situations and then it's still minor and correctable. It's not as small as some other lenses with a similar focal length, but I think it makes up for it in quality (admittedly, I only say this based on what I've read, not having tried these other options, yet). I love it!

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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                      (2 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      4.0

                      Nice Lens

                      By Altm

                      from West Virginia

                      About Me Photo Enthusiast

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Consistent Output
                      • Durable
                      • Easily Interchangeable
                      • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                      • Lightweight
                      • Nice Bokeh
                      • Rugged
                      • Strong Construction

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Indoors/Low Light
                        • Weddings/Events

                        Comments about Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens:

                        Nice lens. The photos are clear and has nice bokeh. I rated it a 4 versus a 5 due to the focal length of 55mm versus a 50mm.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

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                        5.0

                        Happy with this lens

                        By sue

                        from missouri

                        About Me Photo Enthusiast

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Easily Interchangeable
                        • Fast / accurate auto-focus

                        Cons

                        • A Little Heavy Not Bad

                        Best Uses

                          Comments about Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens:

                          I have only had for 3 weeks, but i am very happy so far. My first prime.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

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                          (3 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          Awesome lens!

                          By Chaz

                          from Wallingford, Ct

                          Comments about Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens:

                          This lens is a superb lens to walk about on my Sony A7. Sharp, sharp, sharp. The bokeh is delicious, creamy, buttery. It is light weight and compact. There are times I forgot there was a camera on my neck, and thought it was left behind.

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                          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          Simply the best!

                          By otho

                          from Poznan, Poland

                          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                          Pros

                          • Consistent Output
                          • Easily Interchangeable
                          • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                          • Lightweight
                          • Nice Bokeh
                          • Strong Construction

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Indoors/Low Light
                            • Landscape/Scenery
                            • Weddings/Events

                            Comments about Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens:

                            My best native lens for A7R. Amazing sharpness from f/1.8. Nice bokeh.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

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                            5.0

                            Sharp pro lens

                            By RicardoZim

                            from San Diego, CA

                            About Me Photo Enthusiast

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Consistent Output
                            • Durable
                            • Easily Interchangeable
                            • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                            • Lightweight
                            • Nice Bokeh
                            • Strong Construction

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Indoors/Low Light
                              • Landscape/Scenery
                              • Macro Photography
                              • Night Photography
                              • Weddings/Events

                              Comments about Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens:

                              Best lens I have used

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

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